Only one championship bout takes place on Saturday, but it’s a good one. Mairis Breidis battles Jai Opetaia for the IBF Cruiserweight title. Breidis, the champion, is a -225 chalk. Opetaia has some talent. Check out Boxing Lines, analysis, and a free pick for Mairis Breidis versus Jai Opetaia and four other terrific boxing matches happening on Saturday.
Breidis and Opetaia Throw Down for the IBF Cruiserweight Title
- When: Saturday, July 2
Joel Camilleri +165 vs Koen Mazoudier +135
- Queensland, Australia – 4:00 am ET on ESPN+
Camilleri has a decent 22-7-1 record. The slight underdog has won 10 fights via knockout or technical knockout.
The dog in this beat Geisler AP via TKO in his last. AP’s record at the time was 15-11-2, which is why the win doesn’t impress.
Koen Mazoudier is 9-2. Mazoudier has won 4 bouts via KO or TKO. Koen isn’t a much better boxer than Camilleri. But he has won 3-of-4 and he beat Camilleri in the first bout via split-decision. Mazoudier should have learned from the first bout. He’ll win the rematch.
Boxing Pick: Koen Mazoudier
Mairis Breidis -225 vs Jai Opetaia +160 | IBF Cruiserweight Title – 12-rounds
Champion Mairis Breidis is 28-1 with 20 TKO or KO wins. 2 of Breidis’ last 3 wins have come via knockout. On paper, it looks as if Breidis should have no trouble winning this match.
Breidis is the more experienced boxer and he might have more power. But Jai Opetaia is 21-0 with 17 knockout victories. Opetaia hasn’t fought boxers as tough as the one the champ has beaten.
Still, the challenger is much younger, Opetaia is 27 and Breidis is 37. In the later rounds, the age difference could mean something. The underdog gets the nod.
Boxing Pick: Jai Opetaia
Nathan Heaney -700 vs Nizar Trimech +400
- London, England – 2:00 pm ET on ESPN+
Nizar “The Bomber” Trimech is 9-3-2 with 4 knockout or technical knockout wins. Trimech’s record isn’t great, but he has drawn in 2 of his last 3. The reason that’s significant is because Trimech’s last 3 bouts have been against the best 3 fighters he’s faced.
Chalk Nathan Heaney is 15-0. The favorite, who calls himself the Hitman, has very good boxing skills. But he doesn’t have a ton of power as evidenced by his 6 KO and TKO wins. Trimech should be the dog, but +400 makes him an overlay.
Boxing Pick: Nizar Trimech
Callum Johnson -800 vs Igor Mikhalkin +450
Underdog Igor Mikhalkin has a great 24-3 record. He’s won 11 fights via knockout or technical knockout. Mikhalkin’s first loss happened versus a close to being in his prime Sergey Kovalev.
There’s no shame in losing to the 2018 Kovalev. Mikhalkin lost his last fight, though, and it happened via referee technical decision, which means Mikhalkin’s corner or the fighter himself didn’t want to continue.
Callum Johnson is the superior boxer. Johnson’s lone loss in his 21 bouts happened against one of the best in the world, Artur Beterbiev. 3 of Callum’s last 4 wins have happened via knockout or technical knockout. Johnson should end Mikhalkin’s night before the final bell.
Boxing Pick: Callum Johnson
Jason Cunningham -105 vs Zolani Tete -125
Jason Cunningham has a good 31-6 record. Cunningham hasn’t lost since 2018. He’s won 7 straight since then, including beating Terry Le Couviour via a sixth round knockout this past April.
But although Cunningham will have a shot, he may not possess enough power to beat favored Zolani Tete. The chalk is 29-4 and has won 22 of his bouts via TKO or KO. Cunningham has just 6 knockout wins. So things could get dicey for the slight dog in the later rounds.
Boxing Pick: Zolani Tete
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